Wherever I go, I always try to think what I could do to improve a business. I’ve been doing it for years and now that it comes naturally to me, I even do it while I’m on holiday. So, as I’m holidaying in DisneyLand Paris at the moment, I couldn’t but think up something I would do to improve the place. And here it is.
What is Disney’s most powerful advertising medium? TV? Print Ads? Movies? All wrong, the people who enjoy their entertainment products and pass on the message to their friends. This viral element is immensely powerful and as Seth Godin would say, if something is remarkable enough (read Purple Cow), people will talk about it. It’s advice that applies to any business, whether you’re an Outer Banks rentals outfit or a multinational like Disney. So why don’t you encourage people to speak about you.
I would provide free Wifi in their hotels and their parks (there’s paid-for Internet in the hotels, but nothing in the parks) so that people can share their images and experiences in real time with friends and family around the world. I would enhance my website, so that photos taken in the parks (or even live streams) can be watched by people around the world. I’m having a whale of a time here and am eager to share it with my friends, so why don’t you just make it easier for me?
Well, it’s our second day at Disneyland Paris and it’s been a bit of an eye opener for me. I’ve never been to any of their resorts before, but the people I know who have been come back raving about what a great time they had. And I can see why. Our hotel stay so far has been impeccable, the entertainment spot-on, with a pass to get into the park from 8:00am all the way to a fabulous parade complete with fireworks at 11:00pm, there’s no time in the day that you’re left feeling you’d rather be somewhere else. All the shows, parades and everything we’ve experienced has been choreographed and rehearsed and was executed flawlessly. If someone was marketing a weight loss supplement with the same amount of passion, zeal and expertise; well, they’d have cornered the market by now. Granted, they do have the economies of scale to make it worth it, but it does make all other shows we’ve seen elsewhere feel amateurishly thrown together.
The great thing is that as a parent, I’m gauging the success of this trip upon how much fun my three year old is having, and well, it’s like all his dreams have come true at the moment. There can be no higher praise than that I guess. I might spend some time reading about Disney’s forays into theme parks and how it’s been going for them. Anyone have any pointers?
Interesting article today about how iPhones sales have beat expectations. Here’s what the BBC had to say about it:
Net profits hit $1.23bn (£953m), or $1.35 a share, in the fiscal third quarter to 27 June, from $1.07bn, or $1.19 a share, a year earlier.
Apple sold more than 5.2 million iPhones in the quarter, seven times greater than the same period a year, before, boosted by a new iPhone model.
Analyst reacted positively to the news and shares rose in after-hours trade.
Shares of Apple ended at $151.60 before rising to $157.02 after the results.
I must say the iPhone is a wonderful device, epitomising the development of mobile technologies into this new century. The device is capable of a totally new experience, one that other devices are starting to catch up with, but when it first came out, it was a huge step forward for phone innovation. Whether you use it to play with an application that calculates how your exercise will burn fat, or play games on it, or browse the web; it’s a device with a million uses. It has introduced a large segment of the population to new technology and turned around Apple’s fortunes.
What a great device!
Looks like Google is having a great quarter. According this report on the BBC, Q2 for 2009 has been much better than they anticipated, regardless of the fact that the rest of the economy is suffering. Here’s a snippet of the news article:
The firm saw net income reach $1.48bn (£900m) in the three months to 30 June, compared to $1.25bn a year before.
Revenue rose 3% for the period at $5.52bn and just over half – 53% – came from outside the US.
Analysts reacted broadly positively to the results, noting that the firm had performed well in containing costs.
The firm was upbeat about the results “especially given the continued macro-economic downturn”.
Chief executive Eric Schmidt said: “These results highlight the enduring strength of our business model and our responsible efforts to manage expenses.”
It’s nice to see some companies are actually doing well in this economy. A number of companies haven’t made it, and a bunch of others look like they’ve taken a crash course of ephedra, they’re becoming so lean and mean. But Google is going well, and I’m sure a number of technology firms are doing well also.
How is your firm doing?
In today’s global economy we deal with partners, suppliers and customers all around the world. And sometimes it gets confusing to know what time it is locally for them. So here’s a tool that can really help. It’s a time clock that helps you tell the time in any part of the world, and you’ll never be lost for time again.
It’s always good to be considerate of your partners, regardless of whether they’re a large computer manufacturer or a small company that makes the best best weight loss pill in the market. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with other people at the end of the phone, people with passion and ideas, people with families and bills to pay. So phoning them at 3:00am might just not be the best idea in the world!
Check out the World Time Zone website
As was widely anticipated, it seems like the UK Interest Rates have remained fixed at 0.5%, the historic low they had dropped to in March this year. This is good news for people on tracker mortgages as it means their mortgages are still costing them very little. However, there’s a concern for home owners that new mortgages at those rates are impossible to find and people are getting locked into higher rate mortgages. Does this translate into more profit for banks, who’s borrowing rate from the Bank of England has dropped?
It’s food for thought, especially if you’re in the market for a new mortgage; but don’t forget the knock on effect on other industries. At the end of the day, borrowing is what drives other businesses, whether you sell peanuts or diamond heart jewelry, whether you’re into services or hard liquor. Banks need to remain viable to provide this service to the economy, so producing a good margin of profit is imperative for them. But the question is, who decides what a reasonable margin of profit is? Should it be regulated by the government? Or should the free market decide?
So many questions!